A familiar face popped into my usual searches this week. It was a 2001 BMW M3 in Laguna Seca Blue. What stood out immediately were the wheels (okay, and the color); BBS CH and near faultless condition throughout pointed towards the example I looked at twice in 2014. Three years later, it’s still for sale and though the price has dropped, the seller is still looking for the best part of $60,000.
In the future, that price may not seem quite that outrageous. After all, finding a perfect condition, 10,000 mile M3 in one of the two signature colors isn’t something you come across everyday, right?
For some time I’ve talked about how I’d really like to get an E46 M3. I still remember well when the M3 launched; it felt as if a giant weight had been lifted from the collective shoulders of those who complained that the E36 was too watered down for the American market. Under the hood lurked the high-revving S54 3.2 inline-6, replete with individual throttle bodies. It was a return to form for BMW M, who managed to squeeze over 330 horsepower from that engine. In the world of racing cars, before 2000 it was considered to be quite good if you could make 100 horsepower from a normally aspirated liter; but Honda and BMW both left countless engine builders shaking their heads in disbelief as they were able to best that feat while retaining day to day drive-ability, longevity and a warranty. Outside, BMW stepped up the game to make the M3 stand out a bit more than the E36 had. Like its predecessor, the E46 had revised and deeper front and rear bumper covers, but the M3 added some venting behind the front wheels and some quite sexy rear flares and wide tires, along with four exhaust pipes. It was as if someone had taken the better styling ques from the M roadster and M3 and combined them. Then, there were the colors – Laguna Seca Blue has proven to be a fan favorite, but I always loved Dakar Yellow. So, I was quite excited to get a poster when new of the color that personified the rebirth of the M3 – named Phoenix Yellow – with the tag line “Okay, a Ph.D is pretty impressive, too”:
Yes, here I am writing up another Phoenix Yellow M3. Although I seem to be the only one who likes this color, the E46 is still considered one of the last true “M” cars by enthusiasts across the board. I find this feeling a little silly; the argument that BMW “sold its soul” after the E46 and E39 M cars just doesn’t hold much weight, in my opinion. They’ve always been there to sell cars, and while the engineering has changed the result – cars that define their respective categories – hasn’t changed much no matter what the engine is or how many were produced. Indeed, one could argue that the neutered E36 M3 that BMW sent to the United States was as much a signal of the “end” of the “true” M cars as any. But it’s all opinion based upon what you own, and none of it really matters, honestly. M cars will be cherished by their owners no matter what generation or platform, and I’d like to cherish this one:
It’s been a while since I posted the last Phoenix Yellow M3, a car which I strongly desire. I was reminded of how great this color is (to me, anyway) when the press photos of the new M4 coupe in Phoenix Yellow were released. While it is certainly a polarizing color, I really think when clean with the right wheels this shade rocks. The E46 M3s have been on the downward slope of value over the past few years, with many ending up in the hands of people who either abuse or neglect them, and those that thoroughly modify them to questionable taste. This particular example seems to have avoided that fate, with lower miles and in original and pristine stock form:
Engine: 3.2 liter inline-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 46,581 mi
Price: No Reserve Auction
Clean Carfax, 1-Owner, rare color combination! This 2004 BMW M3 is in great shape and has only 46k miles and features the E46 generation body. Some of the great options on this vehicle are Bluetooth, Heated Leather seats, Harmon Kardon Sound System, CD, Climate Control, and is equipped with a true 6sp manual transmission. Pictures don’t do this M3 justice, this is one of the nicest around!
Visit Denny Dotson Automotive Inc. online at www.dennydotson.com to see more pictures of this vehicle or call us at 740-967-8080 today to schedule your test drive.
Generally value on the early 2001/2002 M3 coupes has been cresting in the mid to high teens, but with several days left on the auction this car has already pushed $20,000 in bidding. That’s likely due to the rare color combination, lower miles and great overall condition. While I love the color, if I were getting into this car the wheels would need to be replaced by the great Competition-spec BBS wheels.…
Edit: This car sold pretty quickly for the $14,950 asking price. Stay tuned for the next one!
In close competition with the Porsche 968 for “Best Deal in Performance German Coupes” has to be the E46 M3. Like the E36s, as new generations have come out these 333 horsepower screamers from Munich have been on a steady slide down in value, and suddenly within the last year or so we’ve seen the first really ratty examples start popping up. I have a close friend with an E46, and I think he sums it up well; it’s go all the go, stop and cornering you need and it’s the last of the M cars that you can really fix yourself. Not only that, but the E46 is noted for decent reliability and – at least in my mind – looked the part; a little more stand out than the nearly stock-bodied E36 but not as fussy as then E9x design. It’s truly a good looking car. While most flock to Laguna Seca Blue, Imola or Carbon Black, my favorite color for this car has to be Phoenix Yellow, like today’s example:
Engine: 3.2 liter inline-5
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 91,743 mi
Price: $14,950 Buy It Now
Clean CarFax – No Accidents – Excellent Condition – 91,743 Easy Original Miles!
Here is an absolutely gorgeous 2001 BMW M3 Coupe with Only 91k Easy Original Miles! This M3 is in excellent condition both inside and out. Pictures do not do this gorgeous BMW justice! It features a highly sought after color combination of Phoenix Yellow over Black Leather and looks absolutely amazing! This M3 is Fully Loaded including Leather Interior, Power Seats, Power Sunroof, 6 Speed Manual Transmission, 18″ Alloy Wheels, and so much more!